What drives you to succeed?

As customary on Tech4agri , we take the time to feature agriyouth like many of us out there striving for success. Understanding success factors certainly helps one along the way but it is not an exact formula. What is clear is that one must have that drive to pursue what he or she is truly after, exhausting every opportunity, to ensure they accomplish their goals.

This week we feature Machel A. Emanuel, a Dominican born, PhD student at the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica. Machel’s academic background  features a Bsc. Zoology & Botany, following that an Msc. Plant Production and Protection.

Over time Machel opted for an academic career within the university community which led to a specific research area in crop science with a focus on post harvest techniques. Mainly his work is devoted to the physiology and biochemistry of fresh tropical and sub-tropical fruits during the maturation, ripening and storage stages.

Furthermore Machel has conducted research on some fruits such as ackee (Blighia sapida), june plum (Spondias dulcis), carambola (Averrhoa carambola), otaheite apple (Syzygium malaccense), soursop (Annona muricata) and custard apple (Annona reticulate) with much of his work featured on Acta Horticulturae, an immense online repository of horticultural research information.

He is also well networked as a member of the International Society for Horticultural Sciences (ISHS) and certified as an Organic Farm Inspector by the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM).

Currently Machel is expanding his career, knowledge and field experience even further as a visiting scholar at the Horticultural Science Department, University of Florida.

Truly a dedicated individual, one can clearly see his efforts to build his reputation within the academic world. Trends within this strategy centre on finding a balance of skills and  certified qualifications  while simultaneously exposing oneself to related fields of study followed by narrowing one’s focus.

In a brief interview with Tech4Agri Machel explains more his method and continued efforts in agriculture.


Phd Candidate Mr. Machel A. Emmanuel

Phd Candidate Mr. Machel A. Emmanuel

Keron: Thanks for working with Tech4Agri. Can you tell me more about your latest research project?

Machel: My PhD. thesis has been devoted to the ackee fruit, which occupies a large place in the Jamaican diet and its diaspora. For over six decades the ackee fruit has been processed in brine, traditionally for the export market. However, in recent times the consumption of raw ackee has gained popularity therefore, development of the export of this commodity, as fresh ready-to-use produce is becoming a priority for the fresh crop producers and exporters.

Therefore, it is important to investigate and provide more information about the ackee fruit during ripening and postharvest stages. My goal is to ensure the island of Jamaica has the capability and the capacity to produce high quality ackee, which coincides with international standards and regulations.

In order for this to be achieved, new post-harvest techniques and storage methods must be developed, the quality and flavor of the ackee fruit must be preserved during storage and the development of new cost effective packaging.

Keron: What would you attribute to your success in agriculture research projects?

Machel: My success in agriculture research is driven by my passion for agriculture in particular horticulture and its impact on mankind. Secondly I feel as though my efforts are being supported from all sides. The University of the West Indies provides the platform for research and innovation within the Caribbean region.

Additionally international collaborators  provide opportunities and experiences in using advanced research facilities. And very important as well is the support given to me by my family members and close friends.  I am dedicated but there is a background structure that drives me further.

 Keron: Where there any adversities, or obstacles throughout your career thus far?

Machel: I consider the challenges not to be any different from those which any scientist may encounter in terms of time management, collecting samples, accumulating data and providing meaningful results in journals which can be integrated into promoting national, regional and international development.

I think of the goals I have already accomplished in research process, the sacrifice my parents have made towards my education, my daughter’s future prospects, keeps me focused and the perseverance to carry on.


Top left corner: Machel featured in a cover page story in the magazine The Analyst titled, “Cashing in on the Jamaica’s Ackee Industry.”

Top left corner: Machel featured in a cover page story in the magazine The Analyst titled, “Cashing in on the Jamaica’s Ackee Industry.”

This brings us to the end of the interview and we sincerely thank Machel for sharing his experiences. Find him on twitter and on the professional researcher’s network, ResearchGate. If you are a member of ResearchGate feel free to view Machel, an expert in his field,  and his ever growing number of publications. All the best to you in your agri-research career endeavors. Stay Dedicated!


  1. A very interesting synopsis of your work. I am interested in Caribbean products exported to the UK. Apart from being the national delicacy of Jamaica, what is the nutritional value of ackee and how abundant is this fruit within the Caribbean?

  2. Reblogged this on PhDoing Too Much and commented:
    :: I love seeing Caribbean people succeed, and use their education to fuel the development of the islands. I love to see that agricultural education is not forgotten. Too often, I have seen people back home frown upon farms. We must remember, we are what we eat. Yay to Machel for pursuing a higher degree in agriculture! ::

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